BLUE MURDER – Nothin’ But Trouble [Japan SHM-CD +1] *EXCLUSIVE*
BLUE MURDER‘s second album “Nothin’ But Trouble” was requested many times here, and finally we found the very hard to get Japan pressing on high quality SHM-CD, including a worthy bonus track.
This super-group took the world by storm in 1989 with their now classic self-titled debut. Following his exile from Whitesnake, all eyes were on guitar virtuoso John Sykes, whose previous credits also included work with Thin Lizzy and the Tygers Of Pan Tang.
People were eager to hear what Sykes would end up doing next, and he proved it in a big way, uniting with bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm) and drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra) to form Blue Murder.
Sykes handled vocal duties in the new group at the behest of music industry legend John Kalodner. Blue Murder debut album was a phenomenal release featuring classic after classic songs.
Many have regarded Blue Murder as a one album wonder…. but they DID have a sophomore release that time criminally forgot.
After successful tours, the group started recording this second album, but sessions resulted delayed – so long that “Nothin’ But Trouble” (proper title) appeared 4 years after the band’s debut.
Franklin and Appice left the band in between, replaced by bassist Marco Mendoza (later of Whitesnake and Lynch Mob) and drummer Tommy O’Steen.
However, the original Blue Murder line up recorded most of the songs here.
The band also hired a standalone vocalist / backing vocalist in the form of excellent Baton Rouge singer Kelly Keeling, however John Sykes ended up overdubbing the majority of Keeling’s lead vocal work – Kelly’s lead is heard on the track “I’m On Fire”, one of the highlights.
Opening cut “We All Fall Down” is one of the fastest, heaviest, and hardest rocking of all Blue Murder songs, making it a choice way to kick off this release.
Gears shift completely on the second track, which is a cover of the old Small Faces standard, “Itchycoo Park.” This is a cover song that stays fairly true to the original, but also throws in a few hard rock touches as well, keeping things unique and interesting.
Tracks like “Runaway” demonstrate that the band can walk that fine line between ballad and rocker within the same song beautifully.
“I’m On Fire” is the one track on which Kelly Keeling’s lead vocal track remains intact, and this is a great bluesy hard rocker that would not have been out of place on one of his Baton Rouge records.
Over the course of this release, you get tracks that are musically diverse, not a single weak cut on the whole CD.
There’s a beautiful bluesy tone in “Save My Love” in the way only Sykes can do, easily one of the best Rock Ballads from the ’90s. Then I find a Whitesnake feel in “Cry for Love” and “Shouldn’t Have Let You Go”, both very good numbers as well.
And there’s the gorgeous “She Knows”… what a wonderful song. Pure class.
Fortunately, this Japanese reissue on SHM-CD includes the original Asian bonus track “Bye Bye”, just another killer Whitesnake-1987 sounding hard rocker with a stupendous guitar work.
Blue Murder’s “Nothin’ But Trouble” is an excellent release: John Sykes and company serve up another batch of superb songs, and you will soon see further evidence of how talented and underrated a musician he is by listening to everything here.
They had the dream team Mike Fraser / George Marino / John Kalodner behind, so expect top notch production, sounding even better on this SHM-CD.
A gem that claims a place in your collection.
01 – We All Fall Down
02 – Itchycoo Park
03 – Cry For Love
04 – Runaway
05 – Dance
06 – I’m On Fire
07 – Save My Love
08 – Love Child
09 – Shouldn’t Have Let You Go
10 – I Need An Angel
11 – She Knows
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
12 – Bye Bye
John Sykes – guitars, lead vocals
Marco Mendoza – bass
Tommy O’Steen – drums, backing vocals
Nik Green – keyboards
Kelly Keeling – backing vocals, lead vocals on 6
Tony Franklin – bass
Carmine Appice – drums
BUY IT !